Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I feel like I want to scream and yell and whoop and jump off of something. Why? Because I have just finished debut author Veronica Roth's Divergent. And, it's one of the best YA books I've ever read. For real.

The world of Divergent is broken up into factions. Literally. There are five of them: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Everyone in this dystopian society belongs to one of these five factions. Unless, of course, you're Divergent. Then you could belong to more than one faction and you're considered dangerous. And you could be killed for it.

Beatrice, the main character, is about to turn sixteen, when she will go through the simulations that will recommend her to one of the five factions. She was raised in Abnegation, but can choose whichever faction she wants. If she chooses a faction other than Abnegation, she will not see her family but maybe a few times for the rest of her life.

Which is on her mind. She loves her parents and her brother, Caleb, but cannot stand the idea of staying in the Abnegation faction for the rest of her life. She is sick of denying herself basic pleasures--good food, wearing colorful clothing, looking in the mirror--and of having to always put others first. When her simulation results are inconclusive and she learns that she is Divergent, she has a decision to make. She now knows for sure that she could enter into Abnegation or Dauntless, a daredevil faction filled with tattooed adrenaline junkies.

Once she chooses, she cannot go back. Her life will change forever and as the peace of the five factions erodes into chaos, she will find that her Divergent personality is more of a help than a liability.

I don't want to give away too much of this story, especially since it's not out until May. But, holy man. If you're at all a fan of dystopian reads, of the Hunger Games, if you need a new Katniss Everdeen in your life, if you love great, dynamic characters and strong female leads then this read is for you. The world that is developed in this book is solid and interesting to think about on so many levels. I can see using this book in my classroom (afterall, how long can I continue to teach the Hunger Games when more and more of my students are reading it well before their junior year!).

I read this book as part of an ARC tour (Book It Forward) and cannot wait to purchase my very own copy. I am so very excited by this new series and this new author. It's amazing. When you read it, come back and tell me what you think!

10 comments:

  1. Glad that you got out of your "meh" dystopian slump....I cannot WAIT to read this one! This is the first review I've read on it. Sounds sooo amazing!

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  2. Also very much looking forward to reading this one! Not sure if I'll get it before dystopian february, so I might not get to read it before August. That would be SAD!

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  3. I am so glad this book is a rave for you. I am very anxious to read it and after the last two dystopian novels you've read being a bust, I have to say that it is good to hear this one is a phenomenal read. Thanks for the terrific review.

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  4. I'm so glad you liked this book; your review is making me even more excited. This is the book I want to read the most this year! :D

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  5. Oh my gosh, this sounds like such a good book! I've been trying to nab a couple of free galleys of it. xD I'm super excited about this one! :) Great review! ♥

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  6. I'm SO adding this to my wishlist!

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  7. Twitter seems to be a big fan of this one :D And reading your review makes me even more interested. Will be adding this for books to buy this year!

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  8. First off, you teach The Hunger Games to your junior students??? That's incredible!! I wish you could tip-off *my* junior English teacher that teens might just prefer a little HG over analyzing the Scarlett Letter. ;)

    Your review has made SO excited to read Divergent-- I'm really not sure if I can possibly wait for its release. One of the best YA books you've read-- that's high praise! Awesome review.

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  9. Ahhh! Fantastic review!! Honestly, you've made me want to go re-read. But I can't since a friend is borrowing it. *sits in torture* Veronica blew me away. I went in expecting something great but I did not think it would be so jaw-dropping BRILLIANT!

    And you totally just shot up in cool points - you teach The Hunger Games to your students? Why weren't you my teacher in school?!

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  10. Great read... if you loved Hunger Games you would likely enjoy this one. It's about a community where people were divided on their factions. To guide a person which faction to choose, he has to undergo a simulation test to see which of the 5 factions (Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless) you suit. At the age of 16, a member of the community undergoes the test and then he chooses a faction he'd like to spend the rest of his life with.

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